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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: The new shrew that's not

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Overview:
This news brief from March of 2008 describes scientists' discovery of a new mammal species, a giant elephant shrew. Though elephant shrews resemble regular shrews, recent genetic evidence suggests that elephant shrews actually sprang from a much older (and perhaps more charismatic) branch of the tree of life - the one belonging to elephants and their relatives.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
Use this resource to relate evolutionary concepts to the topics of classification or animals (or get more suggestions for incorporating evolution throughout your biology syllabus). This article includes a video podcast, a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class, and hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.

  • Geological change and biological evolution are linked.

  • Tectonic plate movement has affected the evolution and distribution of living things.

  • An organism’s features reflect its evolutionary history.

  • There are similarities and differences among fossils and living organisms.

  • Not all similar traits are homologous; some are the result of convergent evolution.

  • A hallmark of science is exposing ideas to testing.

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • Scientists use multiple research methods (experiments, observational research, comparative research, and modeling) to collect data.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Our knowledge of the evolution of living things is always being refined as we gather more evidence.

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

Teacher background:

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